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They can be called consecutive releases, because they had Hindi cinema’s biggest debacle between them. Piku and (if my knowledge of Hindi cinema and audience is any indication) Tanu Weds Manu Returns, the former a ‘family’ comedy, the latter a romantic one, are the new winners of the box-office.


Just a tangy thought: What would have happened had they released on the same day? When both films proved hits like this in the past, they were of diverse genres - Dil and Ghayal, Lagaan and Gadar-Ek Prem Katha and so on. But this time, the producers are laughing all the way to the bank because the audience too is chortling! And like Shoojit Sircar, Aanand L. Rai should also stick to comedies!


Tanu weds Manu Returns and Piku Movie Poster

Tanu weds Manu Returns and Piku Movie Poster


Will Piku will be finally bigger than Tanu Weds Manu Returns, or vice-versa? Though frankly, I liked the former a bit more than the latter, the sweeping advantage TWMR had is of a far better opening, understandable because of the brand Tanu Weds Manu that benefits every sequel. This overshadowed the till-then unknown content of Piku despite Deepika Padukone’s presence. Also, TWMR has far stronger music.


And that re-proves the maxim that branding and content rule over the biggest star in the way any film opens—unless you have a Salman Khan!


Piku opened with Rs 5.2 crore, grew to Rs 8 cr plus on Saturday and Rs 11 cr plus on Sunday, maintaining well through week one and notching 2015’s highest second weekend collections. Still strong, it has ended 3rd weekend at a smooth Rs 71.72 cr.


But going the way it is, TWMR is likely to close the first week itself at a minimum Rs 60 crore, setting the pace for a possibly higher lifetime catch.


While both films had very strong word-of-mouth, Piku, Deepika, Irrfan Khan and Amitabh Bachchan apart, had a strong advantage named Bombay Velvet, which led to its superb second week takings. Tanu… has a similar advantage, with no worthwhile release for two weeks till June 5’s Dil Dhadakne Do, which anyway looks like good only-multiplex fodder.


A cluster of smaller films of little significance are set to come in May 29, and the battle between the temperamental Piku (with the memorable Bhaskor and Rana) the mercurial Tanu (with the unforgettable Kusum and Manu) will exhilaratingly continue!


And on the sidelines, a still-stubborn Gabbar Is Back is inching towards the 90 crore mark. Let us see if these heroines outwit this ‘villain’!


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